Snyder book honored by American Academy of Arts and Letters

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The Academy of Arts and Letters describes Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands" as "a harrowing, brave, erudite, and brilliant account of the mass killing set in motion by two of history’s most appalling mass murderers, Hitler and Stalin."

The American Academy of Arts and Letters presented an award in literature to Professor Timothy Snyder for his book “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” (Basic Books, 2010).

Snyder, the Bird White Housum Professor of History, was one of eight individuals to receive Arts and Letters Awards in Literature, which honor exceptional accomplishment in any genre and carry a $7,500 cash prize. The awards will be presented in New York in May at the academy’s annual Ceremonial.

The citation for the Yale historian’s work reads: “Timothy Snyder’s ‘Bloodlands,’ is a harrowing, brave, erudite, and brilliant account of the mass killing set in motion by two of history’s most appalling mass murderers, Hitler and Stalin, that took place in the part of Eastern Europe called blood lands by Professor Snyder, consisting of Poland, the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine, and a slice of Western Russia, from 1933, the year Hitler came to Power and the Great Famine engineered by Stalin took hold in Ukraine, through the period immediately following the end of World War II. The remarkable originality of Professor Snyder’s work lies in its analysis of the ways in which the two killing machines resembled, complemented and enhanced each other, and in their parallel deliberate use of starvation as a murder weapon, sadism, contempt for Polish and Ukrainian populations whose elites they attempted to eliminate, and obsessive hatred of Jews.”

Snyder was also honored in November by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, which awarded the 2011 Gus Ranis International Book Prize for best book to “Bloodlands.”